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Football Books: News and Reviews



We Are Tottenham: Voices from White Hart Lane 0

Posted on September 01, 2011 by samh

We Are Tottenham: Voices from White Hart Lane, by Martin Cloake and Adam Powley (2004)

Rodney Marsh once infamously dubbed them ‘the worst fans in Britain’, but ‘fickle’ is the more familiar label applied to supporters of Tottenham Hotspur. But who are these seemingly forever unhappy fans?

We Are Tottenham puts Spurs supporters at the centre of the tale of a dramatic season at White Hart Lane, one in which fans’ hero Glenn Hoddle was axed after only six games, and the club faced a fight for its reputation. The book aims to expose the myth of the ‘average football fan’, providing a compelling account of the joy, frustration and absurdity of following a Premiership club. It uses the events and themes of the 2003-04 campaign to address the issues that matter to many football fans today, from the dominance of money to the passions of a local derby.

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Sir Alf, by Leo McKinstry 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Sir Alf: A Major Reappraisal of the Life and Times of England’s Greatest Football Manager, by Leo McKinstry (2006)

Award-winning author Leo McKinstry’s biography of England’s greatest football manager provides a thought-provoking insight into the world of professional football and the fabric of British society over the span of his life.

Alf Ramsey’s life is a romantic story of heroism. Often derided by lesser men, he overcame the prejudice against his social background to reach the summit of world football. Read more…

The Ghost of 66: The Autobiography, by Martin Peters 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

The Ghost of 66: The Autobiography, by Martin Peters (2006)

This autobiography by one of England’s glorious World Cup winners was published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of England’s triumph in 1966.

Martin Peters was a gifted attacking midfield player with an uncanny ability to turn up at the right time and the right place, as he showed when scoring England’s second goal in the World Cup final. He was part of the legendary West Ham trio of Moore, Hurst, and Peters and spent nearly a decade at the club before moving on to Spurs for a record fee of 200,000.

After five years there, which saw him win the UEFA Cup, he moved to Norwich, and helped them to promotion to the First Division. At all three clubs, he is revered as one of their greatest stars. In his autobiography he recalls working with such great players as Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves, and assesses the strengths of his managers, from Alf Ramsey to Ron Greenwood and Bill Nicholson. Renowned as being a decade ahead of his time as a player, he provides remarkable insight into that period.

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Greavsie: My Autobiography, by Jimmy Greaves 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Greavsie: My Autobiography, by Jimmy Greaves (2003)

Jimmy Greaves is one of the most well-known footballers to grace the English game, a goalscorer of legendary prowess.

His characteristically humorous autobiography journeys from his childhood in the East End, through his early career in the Chelsea youth team to being one of the great stars of 1960s football at Spurs, AC Milan and as an outstanding England forward.

There are darker aspects too – the bitter disappointment of failing to make the World Cup-winning team of 1966, and the battle against the alcoholism that followed his retirement from the game. This book is both Jimmy’s story and the story of football in the golden era of the 1950s and 60s, before money changed the game. It is populated by the great players who Jimmy played with and against, and animated by anecdotes about the game.

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The Glory Game, by Hunter Davies 0

Posted on August 22, 2011 by samh

The Glory Game, by Hunter Davies (1972)

This fly-on-the-wall book about a season in the life of Tottenham Hotspur is widely regarded as a contemporary classic in football literature.

Davies is meticulously observant and unbiased, and his research is impeccable. He shows the same qualities which brought acclaim for his biographies of people as diverse as The Beatles and William Wordsworth. He does not just follow the players – such as Ralph Coates, Alan Mullery and Martin Chivers; but also the travelling hooligans on the ‘Skinhead Special'; the manager Bill Nicholson; the club’s directors; and the fans. Read more…

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